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Is Exercise a Must for Keto?
Keto diet has been gaining popularity for years now. Due to its various benefits, people are continuously adapting to the diet plan to shed off those extra pounds. But, one question that always arises in the mind of people who are following the keto diet is whether exercise is mandatory or not? In this article, we will discuss the importance of exercise for the keto diet and its various health benefits.
The Role of Diet and Exercise in Weight Loss
Before we talk about the significance of exercise in the keto diet, it is essential to understand the value of a healthy diet in weight loss. Many people believe that exercise has a more significant impact on weight loss than diet, but that is not true. A healthy diet plan contributes up to 85% to the weight loss progress, while exercise only contributes to 15%. However, exercise has several benefits other than weight loss.
The Benefits of Exercise
1. Increases Oxygen Supply to the Body
One of the most significant benefits of exercise is increasing the oxygen supply to the body. Oxygen is vital to the brain, heart, and throughout the entire body. Exercise makes the blood circulate faster, and the heart pumps more oxygen-rich blood, which reduces the risk of heart-related diseases.
2. Decreases Stress
Exercise helps to reduce stress levels by releasing endorphins (feel-good hormones) in the body. Regular exercise can help in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
3. Improves Fitness and Dexterity
Exercise helps in improving fitness, strength, and dexterity. Regular exercise can help increase energy levels, which leads to better performance in daily tasks. For athletes, exercise helps to improve their performance in sports by enhancing their stamina, strength, and agility.
4. Helps Tone the Body
Exercise is a must if you want to get toned muscles. Even if you are on a healthy keto diet, it will be hard to get toned without exercise. Exercising helps in building muscle mass, which leads to a toned appearance.
5. Overcoming Atrophy
Atrophy, also known as muscle wasting, is a common problem for women going through menopause. Due to menopause, adrenals do not back up the ovaries, which leads to a spike in cortisol levels. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone that breaks down muscle protein, mainly in the thighs and butt, and converts it into fat around the abdomen. Atrophy can cause muscle loss that looks like fat, and doing repeated diets can be frustrating, as it will not lead to any changes.
Exercising for a couple of years can help reverse atrophy, but the duration and intensity of exercise, along with recovery, are important for reducing cortisol levels. People with an adrenal problem should exercise with short duration, high intensity, and recovery time. Overtraining can be counterproductive, and it is suggested to start with once a week and gradually increase to twice a week.
6. Building Muscle Mass
Exercise is essential if you want to put on muscle mass. Strength training and weightlifting promote the growth of muscles, leading to increased strength and stamina.
7. Blood Sugar Improvement and Insulin Resistance
Exercise helps improve blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity, helping people with diabetes, and insulin resistance.
8. Improved Sleep
Exercise helps improve sleep patterns, leading to a more restful sleep. When you exercise, you are more likely to fall asleep faster, experience deeper sleep, and wake up feeling refreshed.
9. Increased Joint Flexibility
Exercise helps to improve joint flexibility by increasing blood flow to the muscles and joints, reducing stiffness and improving mobility.
10. Improved Blood Flow
Exercise helps improve blood flow throughout the body, improving nutrient delivery to organs like the brain, kidneys, liver, etc.
11. Cardiovascular Benefits
Exercise helps to strengthen the heart by working it like a muscle. Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of heart diseases, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels.
Finding the Right Exercise for You
Some people have a resistance to exercise and might not enjoy it much. For such people, walking, dancing, or hiking could be a better alternative. Hiring a personal trainer is also recommended, as they can push you further than what you might achieve alone.
In conclusion, while exercise is not the most significant contributing factor to weight loss in the keto diet, it has various health benefits. Regular exercise can help increase energy levels, reduce stress, improve flexibility and joint mobility, and reduce the risk of several medical conditions. Exercise is an essential part of the keto diet to maintain overall health and wellbeing.